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Re: HYB: the toothpick thing

In a message dated 97-03-27 23:34:15 EST, you write:

<< lease, EVERYONE, do not use the toothpick method for hybridizing,
 UNLESS you use a new toothpick each & every time. Remember always that
 the iris plant, all parts, contain oxalic acid in the form of needle
 sharp crystals. Oxalic acid is poisonous and can cause severe stomach
 upset in small amounts.  Some years ago there was a story making the
 rounds that a well known hybridizer of the time applied pollen to each
 flower with a single toothpick that was returned to the mouth each time
 so that the saliva would destroy the pollen grains.  This individual
 suffered from stomach pains which the MDs were unable to diagnose.
 Shortly thereafter another hybridizer was suffering the same stomach
 problems and realized that is was a direct result of using the toothpick
 method. >>
This story is true!. The Famous hybridizer was Neva Sexton, who died of an
unknown stomach problem. Tom Magee learned hybridizing from Neva and used the
very same method. The same year she died, he was also hospitalized with an
unknown stomach problem. Tom lived and he is the one putting out this story.
Needless to say, he does not clean toothpicks in his mouth anymore!

Mike Moller
Region 20, but visiting Region 13 next week and Region 21 the week after.
Hope to see some iris friends.

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